How to be a Professional when out in Public

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 6th Oct 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Ethics

Many people have had the experience of going out for a nice lunch at a fine restaurant and being placed near a table of business associates having a business lunch. Sometimes things are fine, other times the businessmen, or women, behave in a way that is unprofessional and rude.

You are Impressing No One with a Big Show

At times the people participating in these business lunches are polite and quiet. When conducted properly, a business lunch is discreet and even the people seated at the next table have no idea of what is being discussed. At other times the people having these business lunches are so oblivious to the other patrons of the restaurant they are at that their meeting takes over the entire place.

Sometimes this seems to be a purposeful act, as if the participants have watched television shows like Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" too much and are playing out this fantasy of over importance thinking that it will impress the other patrons of the restaurant.

Make no mistake, this type of behavior does not impress other patrons of a restaurant. Such behavior actually angers and upsets other patrons of establishments who just want to have a nice meal in peace without having to watch or hear the fireworks of flying egos on power lunches.

Cell Phone Etiquette

There does not have to be a big group of business people to ruin the peace for the patrons of a restaurant, as one person with a cell phone can ruin the experience for everyone if they get loud. We all have seen, heard, or know the type that wants to impress all of those around them by talking about a million dollar deal so that everyone within twenty feet can hear how important they are.

Those men and women who like to show off what a tough business person they are by belittling some subordinate on the over end of the phone for everyones amusement at a restaurant. Most people are not amused by this type of behavior and definitely not impressed. At times it seems like their actions are so over the top that they are fake, after all a business person who is actually important would show a bit more discretion with their affairs.

Get a Room, or Go Outside

If you, as a professional business person ,do not want youself or your organization to look foolish there are some simple rules to follow:

If your colleges can not keep their vocal level down at business lunches go to places where they can give you a private room.

If for some reason, you want to impress others with the illusion of your own importance please realize that eventually it will sink your business when people stop supporting you because they may come to think of you as loud and abrasive.

In regards to the problem of people being obnoxious with cell phones in a restaurant this will most likely need to be addressed by the restaurant and there may need to be non-cell phone areas and cell phone areas much the way there were smoking and non-smoking areas. Hearing one end of a angry or loud cell phone conversation while a person is eating is a health hazard as well, it inhibits proper digestion and creates stress and tension. If you are in a cell phone conversation, you may need to lower your voice, or move to a private area.

Think of it this way...

When out in public you do not know who the other people are. They may be clients, or potential clients. While you may think you are acting the "big shot", you may be acting the fool. These people could find you arrogant and unprofessional. These people could also be your competition. They could be future employees who are turned off by the rudeness of how you talk down to your current employees (as when repremanding somebody over the cell phone as you try to act like a big boss man).

So, take a lesson in being humble, and keep things that belong in the boardroom... in the board room.


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Business, Business Men, Businessman, Cell Phone, Donald Trump, Lunch, Management, Manager, Manners, Phone Call, Power, Public, Restaurant, The Apprentice, Women

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
6th Oct 2010 (#)

Funny how "professional" carries varying descriptions. If I acted this way with my colleagues, they'd think I was up to something!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Oct 2010 (#)

Well said, Mark.

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author avatar LOVERME
6th Oct 2010 (#)

Whenever i went out for a business lunch
i insisted

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author avatar Retired
6th Oct 2010 (#)

Clap, Clap, Clap - Thank you for saying this!

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author avatar Denise O
6th Oct 2010 (#)

Great piece Mark.
Well put.
Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Strovek
7th Oct 2010 (#)

Well written and good advice.

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author avatar Pinkchic18
8th Oct 2010 (#)

Great article, I've sat next to people at restaurants like this and it does get very tiresome.

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author avatar stevietrix
13th Oct 2010 (#)

I chuckled on the first paragraph. I agree with you being that I'm a native New Yorker from Brooklyn, I travel to Manhattan a lot to typically just walk around and just think up something new. Most occasions, I can tell who the arrogant fellas are. It is amusing that they acted like gentlemen when they were younger and now that they have forgotten that from all the pride of business, to what they are doing now. (I personally can't stand them though which is why I agree)

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author avatar Javrsmith
8th May 2011 (#)

It's amazing how many people do not have cell phone etiquette. It is not right to text and drive. It is not right to text while in a meeting. Be considerate of your neighbors.

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